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Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
June, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 06
Stay in Touch With ... Aromatherapy: Scents of Place
By Kelli Lene, NCTMB
One of the most important investments you can make in your practice is developing your "sense of place." Sense of place goes beyond creating an atmosphere; it's established through client experiences and connection of feelings.I can teach a class full of technicians the exact same spa protocols, with the exact same tool box of products, then come back in a year and each will have created completely different spa experiences for their clients. Well-planned combinations of protocols and products allow us to build the synergy of experience that defines our uniqueness as a spa provider and this valuable sense of place.
We are very aware of the five basic senses in the spa profession; a balanced spa protocol will engage all five.
Each of our product tools involves one or more of these basic senses. For example: we utilize exfoliates that are extremely tactile, stones that are visual, teas that are tasteful and specific music to immerse our client into a full sensory experience. However, the strongest impression we make will be by aromatherapy through the sense of smell. Essential oils are the paints of our spa tool box. Since essential oils have strong physiological, pharmacological and psychological components, they are a vital component in designing any spa experience.
The goal in my own practice is to make sure that from the moment a client walks into my treatment area and long after they leave, they are cocooned with a sense of well being. This defines my "sense of place." The following are some examples of typical smellscapes I design for my clients in the summer.
When the heat index goes up, my aromatherapy protocols naturally turn to treatments that will cool and revitalize drained clients. My first addition is to use an aromatic room mist to spray my table set-up right before I start a session. This not only sets the smellscape, but also forms a cooling sensation when the client lies down. I receive many complements when I utilize a spray of water and a pre-blended citrus synergy (e.g., orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, lime). This choice delivers a clean and inviting smell that greets my clients and sets the tone of safe haven. These oils are uplifting, centering and pleasant air cleaners. Using the citruses as a room spray allows me to take full advantage of these properties without risking the photosensitivity which is sometimes a concern with using citruses full body. Finally, these oils are top notes so they will disperse quickly from a client's mind, to make way for the next smellscape.
One of my most popular services is custom blended oils for the client's massage experience. This involves a pleasurable consultation where the client helps me create their synergy based on what is going on in their life and their goals. I then blend two ounces of oil, using about one ounce in the massage and sending the rest home with the client. I tend to blend by trinities (three oils at a time) or use pre-blended synergies. I find this keeps the blending interesting for the client without overwhelming them. An example of a summer favorite is a relaxing blend of four drops each of geranium rose, lavender and roman chamomile into two ounces of a light massage medium. All three oils are middle notes (heart notes) and together will resonate like a calming hum throughout the massage. This blend is not only very soft and tranquil; it also helps pharmacologically with wind- and sun-tortured skin, which is so prevalent in the summer. If your client needs or desires a more substantial blend, you can replace the roman chamomile for two drops of Sandalwood which is a base note. This will add weight to the experience and enhance the meditative aspect of the massage.
I conclude all my sessions with a blessing of oils. In the warmer months, I like to deliver the finishing touch as a reviving and cooling sensation on the feet, neck and temples. My favorite aromatherapy treatment is to blend eight drops of orange and four drops of peppermint in one ounce of a fast-absorbing base and briskly rub it into the feet. Then, I promptly apply the mixture into their neck and temples, making sure to stay away from their eyes. I close with placing my hands in front of the client and instructing them to take several deep breaths. As a final touch, I serve water garnished with slices of orange and sprigs of mint. These particular aromas are chosen for their refreshing effects and I can't think of a better state in which to send my clients, and me for that matter, back into the challenging world that awaits.
A client probably won't remember what you said, they might not even remember what you did, but I promise they always will remember how they felt when they were with you. Aromatherapy is one of the easiest and most effective ways to establish a sense of place, by allowing us to create the strongest essence of place.
Kelli Lene attended the Austin School of Massage in El Paso, Texas, and the East Tennessee School of Cosmetology. She has extensive experience as a massage therapist and spa technician. She can be reached at "> .
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